While some teams are left wallowing in the past, some are blazing a trail for the future. Professional teams that are ahead of the curve on the technology side of the game are the subject of envy from many top industry executives. Social media has been one of those technologies that some teams find themselves on a road to success while many are left scratching their heads in the dust.
The San Francisco Giants have been one of those trailblazing teams for some time now. Just check out some of their stats from a press release on Monday:
They currently lead all of baseball in Instagram (over 255,000) and Google Plus (over 1 million) followers; are ranked fourth with 434,000 Twitter followers and fourth with 1.69 million Facebook fans. Of the top 10 trends in sports for 2012, #SFGiants ranked fifth, ahead of #Jeremy Lin, Super Bowl, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant and the New York Yankees. In 2012, AT&T Park was the third most "checked-in" Facebook venue in the world, behind Times Square and Disneyland.
The Giants have taken another big step forward, this week announcing the opening of their social media cafe called "@Cafe." The cafe will serve coffee, tea, and your typical cafe affair, but it will feature TVs showing the batting practice for those that arrive early and the game. @Cafe's big feature is its video board that will show Giants-related Tweets, Instagrams, Facebook content.
One of the most recent social media projects from the Giants that I thought was well done was a question and answer session on Vine with outfielder Hunter Pence. Vine, a social media platform where users post 6-second videos, has been tough for many to figure out how to leverage. The Giants, of course, found the way by having fans send their Vine of a question using a specific hashtag and Pence would then answer in a 6-second Vine of his own.
Innovation is key on social media as the space becomes more crowded by the day. The teams that get it are the teams that use social media as a way to connect with fans and more than just a simple PR broadcast extension. The San Francisco Giants are on the cutting edge, what is your favorite team doing?
Follow Kevin Rossi on Twitter @kevin_rossi.